The refrain and melody ring in his head: “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” CBF field personnel, Eddie Aldape wished he could get this song from the old television program to quit playing in his mind. But the song comes unbidden as he walks alongside the refugees and immigrants in his city.
A lady receives a message from her sister living back in her country of origin. The sister’s husband had physical assaulted her and was threatening to kill her and the children. What could this sister, a refugee in a faraway country, do to help? She had already been in Spain for two-and-a half-years and had not found a job. She was desperate. Maybe she could find someone to give her sister a work contract so that she could come to Spain as well.
Eddie made some calls. They were able to find an organization who helped her sister to safety.
Another experienced overwhelming grief. His time in Spain had been one obstacle after another. Now he learned that he had lost his father. He could not return to his country. He could not communicate with his family. He wondered if it had been worth it to leave seeking safety and hope in a new place.
Eddie offered his presence, care and consolation as waves of grief overtook the young man. Where could he go? What could he do? His passport had expired. His country of origin would not reissue passports to its citizens outside its borders. He found it extremely difficult to receive any form of assistance. Skilled as a plumber, electrician and carpenter, he was forced to leave the employment he had found because of lack of housing.
Eddie works to help refugees and immigrants find temporary work using their specialized skills which provides them with needed income. Amid tragic circumstances due to displacement, Eddie was present to offer hope and love. Because presence matters.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Matthew 25:37, NRSV).
Join Cooperative Baptists around the world this week during the Offering for Global Missions Week of Prayer. Learn more and find resources to pray throughout the week at www.cbf.net/ogmpray.